Getting back-to-school supplies takes on a whole new meaning for families with students enrolled in a virtual school. Connections Academy families get a special back-to-school package—a school year in a box, delivered right to their doorsteps.
Although many of the items needed for the virtual school year are supplied by the school, there are some school supplies you may want to have handy to help you create a productive home learning environment.
Many of these general school supplies you probably already have in your household. Some of the basics you'll want to gather include:
- Pens, pencils, and highlighters
- Notecards and Post-it® Notes
- File folders and/or pocket folders
- Notebooks, loose-leaf paper, graph paper
- Ruler, tape, scissors
- Printer, printer paper, and printer ink cartridges
Some important organizational items experienced Learning Coaches find helpful are:
- Inexpensive, stackable file racks that you can label for each subject (makes storing and locating materials easy)
- A monitor stand that allows the computer keyboard to slide out of the way
- Whiteboard/magnetic board/corkboard
- Desk organizer
- Bookshelves/storage bins/crates
- A sturdy 3-hole punch (so you can keep everything organized in binders)
- A jump/flash drive or CD-ROMs to store past assignments and lessons
You'll also want to make sure your child's desk space and surrounding area are conducive to learning. Make sure there is enough space to spread out, and purchase a comfortable chair.
Get Creative with Your Virtual School Supplies
Experienced Learning Coaches have figured out what the most beneficial virtual school supplies are through trial and error over the years. These may not be items that are required, but they can help you better utilize learning spaces, file assignments, organize textbooks and supplies, and create special features that motivate your child to learn.
Some of the more creative items you can purchase, collect or make include:
- Construction paper, card stock, markers, colored pencils, glitter, and other art supplies
- Decorative Post-it® Notes or notecards for making special notes
- Clear overhead projector sheets and wipe-off markers
- Old magazines that have lots of pictures (great for art projects)
- Laminate workbook pages so your student can complete the same problems repeatedly
- Fun, novelty items your child enjoys using: decorative erasers, stickers, brightly colored pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, Sharpie® markers, etc.
- Themed binder/notebook labels
- Brightly colored duct tape to cover binders (makes them durable and fun!)
No matter what kind of learner your child is, organization is the key to success. You need to create a learning environment that is free of distractions, completely accessible, and easy for your child to use.
Remember that good school supplies do not always have to be expensive. Go to garage sales in your neighborhood to see if you can find gently used shelving and storage bins. These kinds of sales are also great for odds and ends you wouldn't want to pay full price for in the store.
What are your favorite virtual school supplies you just can't do without? Which items have been most beneficial for your child? We'd love to hear your ideas and share them with the rest of our online learning community.